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It was a great 10th Anniversary of Da Vinci Fest!

We were delighted that Sen. Amy Klobuchar joined us at the 10th Annual Da Vinci Fest, our celebration of art and science. It’s an opportunity for students to show their talents and smarts in a Science Fair, Art Fair, Film Fest, Spoken Word and Science Challenge events. But it’s also a big community event with educational exhibits, demonstrations and performances.

Sen. Klobuchar helped us kick off the Stillwater Science Challenge, an on-the-spot science competition in the manner of the Science Olympiad. Before that, she spoke about the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education in the economic competitiveness of the country.


As usual, there were incredible science projects and works of art by the students of the St. Croix Valley. Here’s a LINK TO THE WINNERS of the Art Fair, Science Fair and Science Challenge.

You can click on our gallery of images from photographers Tom Voight and Kelly Lombardi to see the images captured from the day!

 Announcing our Fall Classroom Grants

The board of directors of The Partnership Plan recently approved 24 grants to teachers in Stillwater Area Public Schools. The grants totaled $35,171.

TPP was not able to fund all the grant applications it received, but the ones that did receive funding shows the imagination and commitment of teachers in our schools. For instance: a grant to allow high school students to hatch and release trout into Brown’s Creek. A grant to provide a theater residency for pre-schoolers. A boat-building project for students with autism and emotional/behavioral issues. A MakerSpace project for 5th graders. All in all, it will provide terrific learning all across the District.

Read descriptions of the grants

Elementary school students experience Native American hoop dancing

Students in all District 834 elementary schools experienced Native American hoop dancing this week as part of a Big Impact Arts Grant from The Partnership Plan.

Dallas Chief Eagle and his daughter, Starr Chief Eagle, are members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and world champions in Native American hoop dancing competitions. The two led workshops with the 5th graders in each school. At the end of the residency, the 5th graders performed a hoop dancing routine for the entire school, followed by performances by Dallas or Starr.

The Hoop Dance is an age-old Native American ritual and performance. Each dance is as individualistic as the person who choreographs it. In an elaborate sequence of moves, the hoops are made to interlock and can be made to look like tails or wings. As taught by Dallas and Starr, the movements of the performances reflect important values including respect, creativity, determination, and self- balance.

See a video of Dallas Chief Eagle performing to a traditional Lakotan song, another one of Starr Chief Eagle performing (how do they DO that?!), and the Afton-Lakeland 5th graders performing to a more modern song.

Special thanks to Music Teacher Extraordinaire Sonia Esch, who proposed this project and organized its MANY moving parts. 

The Partnership Plan Sponsors

Rivertown Inn
Lake Elmo Bank
Southill Dental
Andersen Windows
First State Bank
Twin Cities Orthopedics
Lakeview Hospital
Kraus Anderson
The Oral Surgery Center
Gov Docs
Paiement Law Office
Advanced Dermatology Care
Edina Realty/Steve Smillie
Edina Realty/Anne Anderson
St. Croix Dermatology
Retail Construction Services
Pediatric Dentistry
Bluestone Physician Services
Sletten Brettin Orthodontics
Envision Catering and Hospitality

In Kind Sponsors

Vickey Weiss Photography
AV for You
Pub 112
St. Croix Tents
Square Lake Film & Music Festival
Rose Floral
Parent Company
Action Rental